Recap of our benefit show last Friday

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Oct 15th, 2012

Photo by Larry Wentworth,

I’d like to thank all the bands as well as everybody who attended our benefit show this past Friday! It was an amazing event — all of the bands sounded great and the turnout could not have been better. After helping the bands out with gas money, the show ended up raising over $500 for the Zine Library!

*For those who couldn’t attend, here’s where you can check out the bands:

Shook Ones, Tigers Jaw, Save Ends, Maura

PoC Zine Project, MICE, and Museums: An event roundup

Written By: drawmedy Published: Oct 14th, 2012

The past few weeks we’ve had the awesome opportunity to partner with several projects, institutions, and events.  Here is a quick roundup of what we’ve been up to.  We would love to hear what other partnerships you’d like to see us pursue!

First up:  On Sept. 15th we were psyched to partner with the PoC Zine Project and Alana Kumbier at Wellesley College for a fundraiser to support the Race Riot Tour. The PoCZP’s mission is to “make it easier for POC zine fans and their supporters to find a diverse selection of zines made by POC.”  We were able to raise gas money to support the tour, feature zines made by local zinesters of color, and will feature an exhibit of PoC zines at the end of the tour.  These folks are doing really important work – here’s how YOU can support the Race Riot tour RIGHT NOW.

Next, we partnered with the Boston Comics Roundtable to put on a panel discussion with local comics artists and zinesters in advance of this year’s Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE).  The theme of the panel was the intersections between indie comics and zines.  Brian Connolly, Alizeé de Pin, Chelsea Dirck, Lily Richeson, and Marissa Falco discussed zine aesthetics, the difference between zine fairs and comic fests, swapping culture and more.  

And last but not least, last week we partnered with the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum for a day-long drop in workshop putting zines in conversation with archival materials from the museum’s collection. Here were some of our prompts:

Personal Zines are one of the largest category at the Papercut Zine Library.  They often include voices that are not present, and whose stories are not frequently told, in mainstream print media. This might include anyone from young people, differently abled individuals, anarchists, people of color, to urban substitute teachers.  Isabella Gardner’s diaries document the voice of an educated and influential woman at a time when women’s voices were not frequently recorded.  These forms of ephemeral print media (zines, diaries) become part of history when we recognize that they give us access to voices we might not find in books and newspapers.

If you were to create a personal zine, what would you share? What would you want visitors to the Gardner Museum in 100 years to know about you?  What could you fit onto one page?

Isabella Gardner used words and image in her travel journals to document and share her experiences in parts of the world few of her peers would ever see.  These travel zines share experiences of hidden places, beloved parts of hometowns, and personal journeys.

How would you describe your trip to the Gardner Museum to someone in another part of the country?  Another part of the world?  What would you draw and what words would you use to describe it?  What would you share about Boston or your home town that your readers might not know?

Isabella Gardner had an eclectic circle of acquaintances including artists, politicians, world travelers, and writers.  She corresponded with them frequently, and her letters provide us with a glimpse into her thoughts, dialogues, and exchanges of ideas.  Zines often use the mail, and mail art, as a way to foster connection and expression through pen pals, political letter writing campaigns, or communication to spaces that can’t easily be physically accessed (such as prisons).

Make a piece of mail art to include in a zine.  Isabella Gardner often wrote to great thinkers of her time, or those she met while traveling.  Make a piece of mail to send to an artist or writer who has inspired you, someone in a country you might never visit, or a place in America you might never go.

Stay tuned for more posts sharing the zine we made through out partnership with the Union Square Farmer’s Market.  Whew!  Who else should we hook up with??

Benefit Show this Friday! +New Merch

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Oct 8th, 2012

Special thanks to Dustin (Disposable America)!
He designed a great poster for our benefit show on Friday and also made some new buttons which will be available at the show.

(Facebook Event Page)

Aaaaand our new buttons:

*Buttons will also be available by mailorder for any non-local Papercut fans & friends in the next few weeks.

Hope to see you all this weekend!

Zine and archival materials workshop

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Sep 24th, 2012

Saturday, October 6th — Zine and archival materials workshop at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum.

Comics Event

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Sep 23rd, 2012

Sunday, September 23 — Readings by local comic artists and discussion about the intersections of indie comic and zine communities to gear up for MICE next weekend! See the facebook event here.

Closed today, Labor Day

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Sep 3rd, 2012

Sorry for the inconvenience, but we will be closed today. Enjoy your holiday, see you all next weekend!

Recipe zine making at the Union Square Farmers’ Market!

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Aug 20th, 2012

Saturday, September 15 — PZL will be hanging out at the Union Square Farmers’ Market soliciting illustrated recipes of your favorite things do to with the yummy produce from USFM. The finished product will be an awesome, illustrated recipe zine! See more info about the Farmer’s Market here: Image by Claudia Pearson.

See more here:

RSVP here!

Preserving Our Collection

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Jul 30th, 2012

As Papercut inches closer and closer to reaching our 15,000th zine, we librarians are having more and more trouble keeping those zines clean and organized! As you may know, when we moved into our Inman Square location we decided to store around 2/3 of our collection in the basement. Although it is a clean and productive space, it is still a basement; full of dust and moisture that are simply not conducive to keeping aging periodicals.

This, dear patrons and zinesters, is where you come in!

If you have any of the following items, or ideas for helping to preserve our precious collection, please let us know! You can come in during open hours, or email us at Papercut(at)riseup(dot)net.

-Polypropeline or comic sleeves
-Stationary boxes (with lids)
-Comic or magazine boxes (with lids)
-Dustbuster (or other smallish vacuum)

Thanks so much for any leads/donations/etc! <3

Thanks to Closed Door Fanzine!

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Jul 9th, 2012

The latest issue of Closed Door Fanzine was released this past Friday at the Democracy Center in Harvard Square. This zine features photos of hardcore bands from Massachusetts taken by my dear friend, Tim O’connell. The release show featured some of Boston’s finest hardcore bands, with a few surprise sets throughout the night! Thanks to everyone who came out and played in support of awesome zines and the library that showcases them. Door donations were split between bands, Closed Door, and also served as a benefit for the zine library — helping us to pay a whole month’s rent! So thanks to everyone who came out and donated to this — it is greatly appreciated :)

For info on how to get a copy of Closed Door Fanzine, email Tim – timoconnell5(at)

Sanford Berman: father of radical cataloging

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Jun 17th, 2012

Unless you’re a librarian or going to school to become one, it’s pretty unlikely you’ve ever heard of Sanford Berman. By the time you finish this blog post, he might just edge out your friendly neighborhood zine librarian for the title of “raddest librarian”

As any librarian can tell you, thorough and accurate description of an item is hard work. In the library world, we use controlled vocabularies so that information can be organized, found and retrieved efficiently and effectively. Since the Library of Congress is so huge, they’ve done a lot of the work of describing A LOT of books. It would make sense then that the most commonly used controlled vocabulary for cataloging in the English speaking world is the LC Subject heading list. There are a lot of problems with that list! The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States of America and as a result of that, their subject heading list carries the biases inherent in that. One example: LCSH uses the heading “Burma” for “Republic of the Union of Myanmar” and “Armenian Massacre” for “Armenian Genocide”.

So what does this have to do with Sanford Berman? In 1968 Berman moved to Lusaka, Zambia and worked as a library assistant at the University of Zambia’s library. Like thousands of other libraries all over the world the University of Zambia used LCSH subject headings in their catalogs. When it was brought to Berman’s attention that one of these headings was a term akin to a highly offensive racial epithet in the U.S., the seeds for his seminal work, the 1971 book, Prejudices and Antipathies: A Tract on the LC Subject Heads Concerning People. In the introduction to Prejudices and Antipathies Berman lays it down:

…In the realm of headings that deal with people and cultures — in short, with humanity — the LC list can only ‘satisfy’ parochial, jingoistic Europeans and North Americans, white-hued, at least nominally Christian (and preferably Protestant) in faith, comfortably situated in the middle and higher-income brackets, lagely domiciled in suburbia, fundamentally loyal to the established order, and heavily imbued with the transcendent, incomparable glory of western civilization. Further, it reflects a host of untenable – indeed, obsolete and arrogant assumptions.

Tireless in his efforts to rid the Library of Congress subject heading list of “humanity-degrading, intellect-constricting rubbish” Berman sent letters like THIS and THIS much to the chagrin (and sometimes annoyance) of LC catalogers. He started Fully aware of injustice in the real world (not that the “bibliographic universe” isn’t part of the “real world”…) Berman didn’t limit himself to calling out LC. HERE is a letter he sent to American Libraries after the Occupy Wall Street Library was trashed, and HERE is to President Obama about Egypt.

“Zine” is now an official LC subject term thanks to Berman, as is “Transgender People”. THIS “scorecard” shows changes to LC’s subject list made just between 2004 – 2009…pretty awesome.

If you’re interested in reading more about Sanford Berman check out this awesome web zine: KISS MY FILING INDICATORS #1

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